{film} two briefly + one

Saw Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011) last night. I will very likely write a review at some point, but for now: suffice it to say, it was brilliant fun. It was all we have come to love from Guy Ritchie, and then a bit more. ie. If you recall the trailer with Sherlock (Robert Downey, Jr), Watson (Jude Law), and Simza (Noomi Rapace) running through the woods amidst a maelstrom of explosions/gun fire. The full scene was incredible. The camera work, the editing, the lighting, color…Bliss.

Was glad to see the talented Noomi Rapace of the Swedish Millenium Series, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009), etc. in such a successful film/role with the release of David Fincher’s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) with the eye-brow-less Rooney Mara (which I am looking forward to seeing/hearing, btw).  Jared Harris as Professor Moriarty is very good, very convincing. The acting was solid throughout the cast. And what a pleasure Stephen Fry was as Mycroft. I loved their translation of the elder brother! and well, I love Stephen Fry.

Have yet to read this NY Times Review, but I’m sure it is good. It’s A.O. Scott, so…[okay, had a skim. He doesn’t care all that much for it; story-/character-wise anyhow). and well, Roger Ebert’s review–the same, yet read, but he is a wiz.



The other day, we watched Cowboys and Aliens (2011) as directed by Jon Favreau, starring Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig, Olivia Wilde, Adam Beach, Sam Rockwell, and Paul Dano. I was debating a review, because honestly, afterward, I looked at Sean and shrugged. Olivia Wilde had the privilege of working known talents, and Ford and Craig and Favreau, etc were as expected. However, Olivia Wilde’s character was so ridiculous, and disturbing. And the chemistry between her and Craig’s Jake Lonergan went from uncomfortable to a discomfort of a different kind. Then there is the slow chase to get their people back is a challenge all its own. If Daniel Craig and his character were less well-rendered, the film would have been impossible to stomach. I mean, I love Harrison Ford, but the script/plot was painful.

This is a film where “just go with it” is absolutely necessary. You will have more fun this way, especially if you like Western meets Science Fiction-Alien. It had a quality that transports the viewer to reminisce older Westerns, while recalling classic alien encounter cinema: vistas, dark & claustrophobic interiors; colors–earthy and yet heightened; great sound effects and chase on horseback. The explosions, the effects, the sets, are notably higher tech than say Joss Whedon’s Firefly–no suprise budget-wise, right? Regardless of tech and cast, Cowboys & Aliens comes across more B or C movie in result. {image note: fans of Daniel Craig’s physique will be very pleased by all the shots of his rearend. It was becoming embarrassing how the camera was objectifying Craig. Then, it didn’t have much to linger on with the waifish Wilde.}

again w/ unread reviews, but I like to link them. Ebert’s review. Manohla Darghis at NY Times, review.


Have you discovered Kees van Dijkhuizen and his [the films of] series? Oh My but he is wondermous! I will post his [the films of] David Fincher and [the films of] Guy Ritchie, but follow the link and carve out a few hours. He is a gifted editor, his use of soundtracks are marvelous. He’s too good not to share, and I’ve been trying to figure out how to introduce him into a post a couple weeks now. Happy Holidays! enjoy!


5 thoughts on “{film} two briefly + one

  1. Ooo, I didn’t realize Stephen Fry was in the new Sherlock Holmes movie – add it to my reasons to be eager to see it. Guy Ritchie’s take on Holmes is way fun – although I think some of his other movies are far superior (or perhaps just more original).

    Cowboys & Aliens was dreadful – and yes, Craig was SO objectified. Too bad. Could have been a really interesting movie… I had hoped for more from Jon Favreau, don’t know why. His Iron Man movies are decent… At least Sam Rockwell had a couple of good lines!

    Thanks for mentioning Kees – I hadn’t come across his stuff. So much fun. His Cinema 2011 is epic! And I realized afyer watching the videos above that there is a Guy Ritchie movie that has somehow slipped past me…!

  2. I didn’t know Stephen Fry was in it either. when he showed up, I’m pretty sure I squealed with delight. I agree that his other films are more superior, and that Holmes is just a silly good time.

    oh, thank you. really, I didn’t have much of a sense of other people’s response to Cowboys/Aliens going in, yet after, I felt like maybe I was the only one with that response. Then Sean, who is a more compassionate viewer wasn’t terribly satisfied either. ..I thought Sam was well-cast and amusing to have in the film.

    Yes! his Cinema Years cast everyone else in the shade. Film Awards shows must hire this man, his are so well done! and yes, we were noting missed films, while energetically recognizing others.

  3. We saw the Sherlock movie today. I loved it for the effects and RDJr and the dialogue and all. But the story/mystery/ plot was hard to follow, I must say. However, somehow I don’t think the plot is the point of this movie!

    I love when scifi meets western, as in Firefly, but I’m still scared to see this Cowboy Aliens movie because of reviews such as yours. It just sounds too dumb and a waste of time for the most part. Oh, well.

  4. yeah. i want another viewing, just to consider the plot/story. i thought the distractions away from the mystery made the end encounter more brilliant.

    unless you are in an open-minded if not absolutely silly mood, I would spend time on Firefly re-runs or something other. Cowboy/Aliens wasn’t the worst film, and I don’t begrudge the time spent to view it, but if I had my druthers now…

  5. I actually enjoyed Cowboys and Aliens. Didn’t think it was great by any means, but I went in with low expectations and was entertained. I certainly don’t need to see it again.

    We saw both Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows this past week and both were edge of your seat fun. I like Holmes better, but that isn’t surprising given that the entire aesthetic of the film caters to some of my favorite things. I thought the first Holmes film was good and this one was great. A step up, which was a pleasant surprise.

    My biggest problem with the first was that Rachel McAdams was poorly cast. I like her well enough but she was never believable as Irene Adler. Admittedly I am more fond of this character because of Carole Nelson Douglas’ Irene Adler novels. I looked at a friend afterwards and told him that the woman playing Mrs. Watson would have been a much more believable and capable Irene Adler. McAdams looks too much like a girl playing dress up in period clothes and she does not carry herself in a way to make me believe she is someone who could match wits with Holmes. I am glad she only had a cameo in this film.

    The filming was brilliant on Holmes, just brilliant. It is always a thrill to find a film that is visually stimulating while at the same time having a story worth seeing play out on film.

thoughts? would love to hear them...

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